Charlotte Caldwell's medicinal cannabis oil for son is confiscated at Heathrow

Henrietta Strickland
June 12, 2018

Charlotte Caldwell said border officials seized the marijuana-infused oil when she tried to enter the country Monday with her autistic 12-year-old son.

A Castlederg mother who had cannabis oil, meant for her little boy, taken off her at London's Heathrow Airport - says she's considering taking him back to Canada.

Mother and son, who live in the British province of Northern Ireland, flew to Canada over the weekend to get some more of the medication, but it was seized when they arrived at London's Heathrow Airport on Monday morning.

She has called on Home Office minister Nick Hurd to return the medication.

The Home Office has defended the seizure in a statement which said: 'The Home Office is sympathetic to the hard and rare situation that Billy and his family are faced with.

'I will just go back to Canada and get more and I will bring it back again because my son has a right to have his anti-epileptic medication in his country, in his own home.

Families 4 Access, a campaign group seeking access to cannabis medicines for United Kingdom children, tweeted its support for the Caldwells and urged followers to email the minister asking for the medication to be returned.

Billy became the first person to be prescribed a cannabis-based medicine on the NHS after enduring up to 100 seizures a day and routinely ending up in hospital.

"Nick Hurd [Home Office minister] has actually signed Billy's death warrant and he is not a doctor", she said. However, it was confiscated at the airport when they returned after she openly declared it to customs.

"The reason they don't do it is that it can cause really bad side-effects - they wean them down slowly", she said.

"It is cruel and unfair that Billy and his mother Charlotte have had to travel to Toronto to get medication", she said. Schedule 1 drugs can be used for research purposes and clinical trials, but only under a Home Office licence.

"The medicine to alleviate Billy's epileptic fits should be readily available to him and not the subject of political dispute around the illegalities of drug misuse".

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: "We are sympathetic to the hard and rare situation that Billy and his family are faced with".

Billy started the treatment in 2016 in the United States, where medical marijuana is legal.

He became the first person in the United Kingdom to receive a prescription after his local GP, Brendan O'Hare, began writing them.

A U.S. doctor originally prescribed him medicine which his mum says stopped the seizures and significantly improved his quality of life.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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